Some films you just can’t say too much about without spoiling the film. The Sixth Sense…..a kid sees ghosts. The Usual Suspects……um…um…. who is Keyser Soze? Well, ‘Most Beautiful Island’ falls into that category where you just can’t give away the ending without ruining the whole film. Written, directed and starring Spanish actress Asa Asensio and partly inspired by a true incident she was part of. Asensio plays Luciana, a a young Spanish immigrant living in New York and scraping a living taking any odd job she can acting as a nanny to two bratty kids, handing out flyers in Time Square before her friend Olga, who is also in the same boat, tells her how she can earn $2000 just by attending a party. She just has to wear a black dress and pick up a package but is warned that she will have to do something which may not be for her but if it is then there will be plenty more work. That’s all her friend is willing to tell her and with her landlord chasing her for rent she decides to take the job managing to blag a designer dress for next to nothing and picking up a locked handbag from the basement of a Chinese restaurant and as part of the deal she also has to leave her mobile phone behind before she attends the party. With similarly attired women, all silent and all standing in a semi circle, the black tie party people enter into the room and one by one the women are taken to another room by the host leaving Lucian wondering just what it is she’s let herself in for.
It’s already sounding pretty dubious and its obvious just as to what conclusion the audiences will leap. Asensio, a strikingly attractive actress, has cleverly written a script that slowly but surely draws its audience in and never letting on as to what is about to happen. It’s all leading up to the big reveal when she is finally chosen and what happens will leave some audiences members feeling very uneasy.
Playing like an extreme version of the Eighties classic TV series ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ this is a great little debut. It’s been almost 10 years since Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win a best Director Oscar and since then Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) has joined the upper echelons of female directors in Hollywood. Its early days yet for Asensio but it’s a credit to her that she’s created her own project in an age when finally women directors are getting the recognition they deserve. This should do the same for her.
Here’s the trailer……